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Why Kindle (and the other E-book readers)?
Old 06-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
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Why Kindle (and the other E-book readers)?

Just curious about why people like using E-book readers? Most of my books come from the library. I occasionally will buy a book I want as a reference. I really don't like to spend money unnecessarily and avoid the early adopter syndrome . So are there down-to-earth reasons to use an E-book (other then to feel you are current with technology)?

One possible down-to-earth advantage I can think of is if you can look up words easily while reading. Would perhaps improve one's vocabulary.

BTW, here's a source for comparison of E-books (so we don't have to go into that here): Comparison of e-book readers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I would be pissed if I purchased a gadget for maybe $250 and then it came out with a color screen and had all kinds of nicer features in a year. This feels like the computer game. Oh, and I have a newish one of those with a big screen ... and... and.... OK I'll stop trying to one-up people here .
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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I'm guessing the biggest reason is that you can take many more books with you than you could otherwise. A copy of Lord of the Rings or Atlas Shrugged isn't very convenient to take on a plane. Taking a dozen or so books on an extended trip or more if you live in an RV is prohibitive. With a reader, War and Peace doesn't take up any more room than a short romance novel. A collection of books is as easy to carry around as one.

However, if I was going to buy one, and I might, I might just go and get an iPad. Can be used as a reader and so much more.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #3
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My iPad is almost always with me. Thus, my (small but growing) library is always with.
Waiting at the Dr. Office, auto dealer, etc, read anything in my e-reader.
On a trip, got any book/magazine loaded at my fingertips. Saving weight and space.
Get the sudden urge to read something, boom, it is right there.
Convenience is a huge factor for me. However, an e-reader isn't necessarily right for everyone.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #4
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If someone happens to already have a netbook, I can't really think of any practical reason to have an e-reader. Netbooks are similar in weight, price and portability. Netbooks only allow for landscape reading, but they also have a lot more functionality. The biggest plus for netbooks though, is the complete openness of a netbook, what you place on your netbook, and your information, is yours, it will not get erased later or have the data be untransferable, this is the main reason I will likely never buy an e-reader.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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I agree with both flyfishnevada and Zathras. One of my e-readers (iPad or iPhone) is always with me and it allows me to carry around a large number of books and magazines in a small package.

But if you can't deal with the idea that whatever device you choose will probably become outdated within a few months, then perhaps you should stick with paper books. They haven't changed in 500 years... Plus, if you are frugal, you can get paper books for free at the library.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
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Well yes, I do have that frugal gene -- DW hates that f* word . A netbook would be at tempting alternative as it would be a nice to have (I think) on vacation.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:31 PM   #7
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There are a few different issues here. First is whether you are a book reader at all. People who don't read many (or any) books (such as my mother) won't find much use from an ebook reader and going to the library for the occasional needed book or picking up in paper form makes sense.

The next issue is whether some is a book buyer and keeper at all. The Kindle and other ebook readers are for people who like to buy and keep books.

There are people who love getting books from the library. I worked at the public library throughout high school and college. People who were heavy library users were usually people who would read a book once and then they were done with it (leaving aside reference users for the moment).

If I typically read a book once then I would be a heavy library user.

However, as someone who enjoys having books I reread books. Of the books that I buy the vast majority are read over and over again. I have paper books that I have owned for over 30 years and I've read them many times.

To me the ebook readers are for people who like to keep and reread books. Paper books have one decided advantage over ebooks. If you don't like the paper book and decide to get rid of it you can trade it in or sell it, getting back some of what you paid for it. Because of this factor I am reluctant to buy an ebook if I don't already know that I like the author or am unsure if I will like it. The other day I was considering buying an ebook that I wasn't sure if I would like it. I actually went into the bookstore and looked at a copy of it before deciding not to buy it. I can certainly see the possibly of getting a book from the library to try out the author before buying an ebook.

Price is probably a wash. You can get some books at used book prices which are cheaper. On the other hand, many times ebooks are cheaper. Also there are often free ebooks made available.

However, ebooks have large advantages over paper books. I recently moved. I started out with many book cases full of books. I did weed out a lot of them before packing the rest. I currently still have about 30 boxes with unpacked books. I don't know that we are going to have room for all of them in our downsized house. If we do, it will be by covering virtually every inch of wall space with book cases.

The ebooks don't take up space. They are available virtually anywhere. I share Kindle books between my ipad, my computer, my ipod touch, my son's ipod touch, my husband's iphone and my blackberry. It is very nice to be able to read those books whenever I want to. It is also fun for my son and I to be reading the same series of books at the same time.

It is easier to read an ebook than an actual physical book (in my opinion). You do have recharge the device but that is not much an issue for me.

As for the netbook -- my DH has a netbook and it is a cool device. However, he far prefers to read books on his iphone than his netbook. It is just not well suited to reading.

Also, plex, many books are not in a copy protected format and can be saved in a variety of formats and are not subject to being deleted by any third party. Those books can be read on the Kindle but still exist in the original format that I bought them in.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:32 PM   #8
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Book readers are addictive. I was gifted a 2nd generation Kindle and find myself loading it up with a mix of freebies which caught my eye, and specific titles I wanted to read.

They shine during travel, when you can load up lots of material in a small device. I get 10-15 hrs of reading on a charge. I can download from almost anywhere if a title comes my way. I can read personal PDF files as well.

I still like the look and feel and touch of a paper book. But the kindle fits our lifestyle well.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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My husband and I have first generation Kindles. We paid the early adopters tax and gladly since the e-reader solved a major problem we were having with reading text. The ability to adjust font size was our primary reason for purchasing a Kindle.

We do have Kindle for PC and we own a netbook but rarely read for long periods of time on these devices because of the back lighting.

Although I do follow the Kindle message boards and find the whole pricing wars of interest we have no real desire to keep up with every up grade that comes along re. e-readers. We bought the K1 to comfortably read text. Period. The rest of it, free books, portability etc is just gravy.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:23 PM   #10
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I have a Kindle and love having the ability to carry so much reading material in a small, easy to carry package when traveling. I also live 25 miles from the nearest library. It's convenient to choose a book and download it in just a few minutes.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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Rumor has it that they are very popular in the Gringo parts of Mexico. Hard to get English reading otherwise.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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I too have some questions.

My PDA is hard to read, for example, in a car when the sun is shining brightly. Are ebooks easier to read in sunlight?

Can you make notes in the margins (figuratively speaking)? Can you underline interesting passages?

When you buy a book, what do you do with it after you read it?

I read mostly nonfiction, even textbooks, and books in Spanish. Can I find these types of books in Kindle format?

Books with pictures and illustrations: do they display well on a Kindle or other reader?

Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:45 AM   #13
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I too have some questions.

My PDA is hard to read, for example, in a car when the sun is shining brightly. Are ebooks easier to read in sunlight?
Dedicated e-readers (the Kindle, Nook, etc) using e-ink are at their best in bright sunlight. They are very easy to read in bright sunlight. The iPad is not suited to be read in sunlight.

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Can you make notes in the margins (figuratively speaking)? Can you underline interesting passages?
Yes, and yes, for the Kindle and I think all of these devices.

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Originally Posted by ScottFromUtah
When you buy a book, what do you do with it after you read it?
Personally I just leave it on my Kindle, which can hold around 1500 books. Or so they say - - as a relatively new Kindle owner I haven't pushed the limits yet.

If I wanted to delete it, it would still remain in my Amazon archive if I bought it from Amazon. It is easy to archive on your own PC as well.

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I read mostly nonfiction, even textbooks, and books in Spanish. Can I find these types of books in Kindle format?
This could be problematic. I mostly read nonfiction, too, but not textbooks. Textbooks for e-readers can be expensive and few are available at the present time.

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Originally Posted by ScottFromUtah
Books with pictures and illustrations: do they display well on a Kindle or other reader?

Thanks.
Pictures and illustrations are going to look better on an iPad than an e-reader. However the actual text and reading is going to be clearer and easier on the eyes with an e-reader in my opinion.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:21 AM   #14
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Pictures and illustrations are going to look better on an iPad than an e-reader. However the actual text and reading is going to be clearer and easier on the eyes with an e-reader in my opinion.
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I have a kindle and an ipad. The lack of backlighting on the Kindle is nice in sunlight. But then reading in dim light is better with the ipad and illustrations are great. One thing I do like with the ipad is that you can reduce contrast and darken the background which I do so that it makes the screen look more like an actual book page and eliminates glare.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lsbcal View Post
BTW, here's a source for comparison of E-books (so we don't have to go into that here): Comparison of e-book readers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Without "getting into it," I just want to mention that my Blackberry Storm is loaded with both a Kindle App and a Nook App. This has all the advantages mentioned above plus the joy of not having to carry an "extra" item with me. Yeah, there will be those that need a larger than 2"x2½" screen -- for many reasons -- but I, personally, have no problem with that. I suspect that other "touch screen" phones have this ability as well.

(I should point out that both Apps are freebies so if you have the phone, there is no cost for this convenience.)
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:28 AM   #16
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I have a Sony Touch Ereader and like it very much. It makes travelling with a "stack" of books very easy. With e-ink technology it's easy on the eyes and good to read indoors or outdoors. The built-in dictionary is great, especially for my elementary-school-aged kids (my kids are constantly swiping my reader, they love it). We are big readers in my family - everyone has their nose in a book regularly.

Also, our public library is slowly growing it's electronic collection - and I can borrow e-books (including popular fiction) from the library by downloading them from their site (yep - they're free!). So, the library is always open when it comes to e-books since I do this over the internet. I've been thinking of trying to track down a membership in some other library systems that have a richer collection of e-books. I'd be willing to pay for membership in order to have access to borrow from a larger collection if some other library had options for non-residents. If any one knows of such a library, I'd love to hear about it.

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Old 06-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #17
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Several readers on my iPhone:
Kindle, Eucalyptus, and Stanza, as well as the Shakespeare app.

I find it very easy to read books on the iPhone, and extremely convenient.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:38 AM   #18
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I've been thinking of trying to track down a membership in some other library systems that have a richer collection of e-books. I'd be willing to pay for membership in order to have access to borrow from a larger collection if some other library had options for non-residents. If any one knows of such a library, I'd love to hear about it.

Charlotte
I'm in Ohio and we have this -
Ohio eBook Project

Maybe your state has something similar.

My local library is a member so we can do downloads from any member library. I've only downloaded one book and haven't read it yet. It has a time limit of 14 days so I should get to it soon.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:52 AM   #19
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Just curious about why people like using E-book readers?
I got mine because of difficulties in reading, due to aging eyes. The Kindle has been the best solution for that, to me. I haven't had to enlarge the font that much, because the clarity and crispness of e-ink has made all the difference (for me: YMMV).

Now that I have it, I love the fact that it is small, light, and fits in my purse. I have it with me ALWAYS and read in landscape mode. It is great during those unexpected odd, boring moments in life (such as when Frank is gassing up his car, or when waiting for a store to open, or who knows what). I was really surprised to find how much of my life was taken up by this type of waiting.

Other aspects that I like are the dictionary and especially the search function and bookmarks. If I read something amazing I can pull it back up to read it to Frank, later on, without fiddling around much to get it. I like the fact that it keeps my place so that I can resume reading instantly. I like being able to order a book over 3G no matter where I happen to be, whenever I want. No need to drive to the store or library, park, and make a huge production out of just getting a book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal
BTW, here's a source for comparison of E-books (so we don't have to go into that here): Comparison of e-book readers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And for those who might prefer it here's a June, 2010 summary of Consumer Reports' extremely recent comparison of e-book readers.

Quote:
I would be pissed if I purchased a gadget for maybe $250 and then it came out with a color screen and had all kinds of nicer features in a year. This feels like the computer game. Oh, and I have a newish one of those with a big screen ... and... and.... OK I'll stop trying to one-up people here .
Reports I have read (sorry! I have no link) say that color e-ink is just not ready and won't be in the near future. Maybe someday but I am not holding my breath. If you want color pictures, right now you have no choice but to use a backlit screen and go that route instead of going with a dedicated e-reader. Luckily, the type of book that I read just has black letters on a white background.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:49 PM   #20
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...(snip)...
Other aspects that I like are the dictionary and especially the search function and bookmarks. If I read something amazing I can pull it back up to read it to Frank, later on, without fiddling around much to get it. I like the fact that it keeps my place so that I can resume reading instantly. I like being able to order a book over 3G no matter where I happen to be, whenever I want. No need to drive to the store or library, park, and make a huge production out of just getting a book....
Interesting comments W2R. I could imagine using a search function when reading fiction and trying to remember who that character was the author mentioned several pages back on my last reading.

Most of the time I like visiting the library and browsing the magazines. But sometimes it's inconvenient.
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